This 97th edition looks particularly awesome with so many champs going to post. What’s more, the outcome remains in the balance.
Bidding to match legendary Ourasi‘s three consecutive Amérique wins, Bold Eagle will have to be at the top of his game this year to do so. Sébastien Guarato’s charge has yet to score this winter, finishing runner-up to Bird Parker (twice) and Propulsion. But the son of Ready Cash has not lost the war yet, and his 15 career G1 trophies draw respect. What’s more, totalling 5 Amérique trophies, Bold Eagle‘s driver Franck Nivard boasts the most wins of any pilot in activity.
This year’s edition looks especially tactical as just three trainers provide more than half of the race’s runners. Sébastien Guarato has no less than 5: Bold Eagle, Valko Jenilat (Grand Prix de Bretagne), Billie de Monfort, Booster Winner and 2017 Critérium des 5 Ans victor Carat Williams. Swedish handler Daniel Redén sends three to post: Propulsion (Grand Prix de Bourgogne), Lionel and Wild Honey. And bang-on-form Philippe Allaire who saddled last Sunday’s Cornulier winner is represented by Bird Parker (currently leading the EpiqE Series Challenge) and Charly du Noyer.
19-time Champion driver and 4-time Amérique victor Jean-Michel Bazire may well upset them all with last year’s runner-up Bélina Josselyn. For the first time this winter, the flamboyant chestnut mare will be running barefoot. Voltigeur de Myrt will be competing in his fourth Amérique, and tough nut Oasis Bi (3rd in 2016) is back again on French soil for his final major challenge.
Four drivers will be competing for the first time. Mathieu Mottier (late scratch last year with Anna Mix) teams up with Booster Winner. Lionel‘s owner Göran Antonsen goes to post on board his colt who finished 3rd in 2017. Daniel Olsson drives Wild Honey, and 2017 French Champion mounted jockey Alexandre Abrivard pilots Billie de Montfort for the first time of his career.